NYC Dining: Myers of Keswick

February 7, 2009

Myers of Keswick
634 Hudson Street, Greenwich Village, New York

Web Site: http://www.myersofkeswick.com/Home.html

Greenwich Village, particularly the West Village, is one of my favorite parts of the city. Filled with odd curio shops and specialty stores, it’s a fun place to shop when you need to buy something as a gift for a friend with very discerning tastes. One of the places I encountered recently that I think epitomizes sort of the “Wow, I didn’t know they had a place like this in New York”  feeling of the West Village is Myers of Keswick, which is a British-stlye butcher shop and grocery store that looks like it got ripped out of the middle of central London.

Myers of Keswick, West Village, NYC by you.

Myers of Keswick Storefront, at 634 Hudson Street.

Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

Read the rest of this entry »


Tea and Bickies

March 12, 2007

The UK isn’t exactly the best place for shopping, particularly if you are an American citizen. Our currency isn’t worth much there, so effectively everything costs twice the price. However there are some things worth splurging for to bring home, particularly fine teas and English biscuits.

A sampling of some of the items I purchased in England. Here we have some fine teas purchased from Harrods, along with some marmalade and “regular” teas from Sainsbury’s, a British supermarket chain. Even the “regular” supermarket stuff is superior to what we get at most supermarkets in the states, and its totally worth stocking up.

A view of our new British tea collection placed on the shelf. I managed to pick up some really good Fortnum & Mason and some special edition Twinings teas at the big duty-free shop at Heathrow, along with a selection of nice biscuits as well.

Jaffa Cakes, not to be confused with the slave warrior race from Stargate SG-1. They are a British original and a favorite munchie of the Beatles.

Whoa! 195 calories PER Jaffa Cake!

Jaffa Cakes have a layer of chocolate on the top.

With a layer of jellied orange marmalade in the middle and a yellow cake layer on the bottom. They are addictive as hell, and I’m really pissed I only bought one package of them.


Harrods Food Halls

March 12, 2007

It seemed appropriate that I end my British adventure with a bang. I had a number of gifts I needed to purchase, and Rachel had a “wish list” of teas and things she wanted. Not having had much opportunity to shop that week, as virtually all London stores close at 6:30 on most nights, Thursday night was the time to get things done, because most of the major department stores are open late — until around 8 or 9PM. So at the recommendation of a number of folks, I headed over to the legendary Harrods department store — owned by the notable Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed (who’s son, Dodi, died in a Paris car crash with Princess Diana in 1997).

I knew that Harrods would be over the top, but I really wasn’t prepared for what was in store. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link for more. You won’t be disappointed.

Read the rest of this entry »


English Breakfast Redux

March 10, 2007

While I did have an English breakfast my first day in London, shortly after checking into my hotel, I was completely exhausted and didn’t have my camera with me. So I was glad that I had the opportunity to show it to you a second time around on Thursday morning after I had returned from Milton Keynes.

Above is the breakfast service at the hotel restaurant at the Thistle Euston, and for hotel buffet breakfast I think its pretty good, although nothing in England in my estimation is a particularly good value for the money (since our American currency isn’t worth squat there, but that’s a rant for another time).

My slanted American take — I like English Breakfast, but not all parts of it. Eggs, Sausage and Bacon and Hash Browns are totally up my alley, and with the exception of the Hash Browns, they’re better than most American versions, particularly the Eggs and Bacon, which appear to be less industrial in their farming and production techniques, yielding a superior product overall. Mushrooms are a totally logical choice, as are the grilled tomatoes, although the tomatoes are totally a seasonally and geographically dependent thing, at least here in the states. I have to assume the tomatoes are coming from warmer parts of Europe and are not being grown locally this time of year. Sweet baked Beans? I could take or leave them with breakfast, really. I much prefer the spicy black beans you see on Mexican or Colombian breakfast plates than the insipid sugar/molasses cooked versions in English Breakfast or Boston Baked beans.

I also won’t understate the value of good marmalade and jams, which add to the general enjoyment and British-ness of the whole thing.


Anyone Fancy a Kebab?

March 9, 2007

In large US cities, when you’re tired, and it’s late at night,  your dining options can be quite limited, For many, Chinese take out can be a welcome sight. But in England, Chinese isn’t the cuisine of choice for late night hunger relief — its all about the Indian Take-away.

I got back to the Thistle Euston in London somewhat late on Wednesday night, and I really didn’t feel like going with room service. So I headed down to nearby Drummond Street, which is home to quite a number of Indian groceries and Take-Aways.

The above late-night meal of Tandoori Chicken, Seekh Kebab, Pullao (Saffron flavor) Rice and Garlic Naan was ordered from Drummond Villa, which is probably pretty ordinary Indian food by British standards. Still, the Tandoori was perfectly spiced and very moist,  and the Seekh Kebab (ground lamb) was excellent and made a great impromptu sandwich on the puffly garlic naan, all eaten from the convenience and solitude of my hotel room. While we have no lack of Indian restaurants in Northern NJ, I’d kill to have a place like this near my house that stayed open until 11PM!


Euston Station, Cornish Pasties and British… Bagels.

March 7, 2007

On Tuesday afternoon we cut loose and headed to Milton Keynes (that’s pronounced KEENS) a large suburban town about an hour’s train ride from London.

In order to get to Milton Keynes, you need to go to Euston Station, to take the Virgin Trains northbound line which terminates at Birmingham. Unlike major US cities like New York, where you have maybe 2 major rail terminals (Grand Central and Penn Station, which are connected by a shuttle subway line) London has a lot of different rail terminals that do not for the most part connect with each other. This is is a throwback to the Victorian Age where there were many terminals run by different companies that competed with each other. They did eventually consolidate somewhat, and Network Rail runs a lot of them (10 of which are in London!) but the British rail system can still be confusing.

Euston was the first inter-city railway station to be built in London,  although little of the original station remains. The public outcry surrounding the demolition of the original Victorian terminal and its replacement with the modern structure that stands today is often compared with the public reaction surrounding the demolition of the Gilded Age-style Penn Station in NYC which similarly was demolished in the 1950-1960’s to make way for the Penn Station that sits below Madison Square Garden. It is ironic that NYC Grand Central Station’s preservation can be owed to legislation enacted as a result of the lessons learned by what happened to the two historic terminals.

South Park ad on a double decker. Kickass!

A particularly cool paint job on a London black cab.

Euston Station and pasties await. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

Read the rest of this entry »


English Breakfast, Sarnies, Roman Ruins and a Rolls

March 6, 2007

Lunch options near our office on Gresham Street are sparse — so we headed down the block to Piccollo, a small cafe in a old pre-war building. It’s a favorite with taxicab drivers looking for a cheap lunch or the traditional English Breakfast, which is served pretty much all day.

A line of London taxicabs parked for a breakfast break. A brand new London Black Cab goes for a whopping £34,000 ($68,000)

A late model Rolls-Royce sedan — presumably the driver wants his breakfast too.

What it says.

English Breakfast, a cabbie’s favorite.

We’re not done with this post yet, chaps. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link for more.

Read the rest of this entry »


Proper Tea

March 6, 2007

I’ve been going native and drinking quite a bit of tea since I’ve arrived in the UK, forgoing my usual cappuccino or French Press in favor of the strongly brewed traditional English Breakfast. Still, I didn’t have it the “Proper” way in England until this morning, with the nice teapot, cubed sugar and biscuit accompaniments, although I had a very nice Gilded Age version in Florida at the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach.

The above is the Tea service at the Grange Holborn Hotel on Southampton Row. At £2.75 ($5.50) its a bit expensive (not unlike everything else at the current exchange rate of $2 to the British Pound) but I think the civility and the nice presentation is quite worth it.


London Calling

March 4, 2007

This week I’m in London and other parts of England on a business trip. As the English say, I’m still pretty knackered from the flight and the jet lag, but I wanted to share some of these shots with you before I hit the hay.

Escalators to Chancery Lane Underground

Mind The Gap!

There’s a lot more London and England coming up this week. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

Read the rest of this entry »